George Henry Martin Johnson

George Henry Martin Johnson

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George Henry Martin Johnson

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George Henry Martin Johnson (Onwanonsyshon) (October 7, 1816 – February 19, 1884) was a chief of the Mohawk of the Six Nations in Canada and an interpreter.

Early life

Johnson was born at Bow Park on the Grand River on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation near Brantford in 1816. He was the son of John Smoke Johnson, a Mohawk Bear clan chief, and Helen Martin, a Mohawk whose Dutch mother Catherine Rolleston had been captured and adopted into the Wolf clan., Chiefswood National Historic Site, accessed 27 May 2011, Source: Betty Keller, Pauline: A Biography of Pauline, Halifax, NS: Formac Publishing, 1981, p. 4 Her father Ohyeatea (George Martin) was also Mohawk. Helen Martin was of the Wolf clan, whose members had founded the Reserve after resettling from New York during the American Revolution.


George Johnson was educated at the Mohawk Institute, established by the British for the education of Native children, where he became fluent in both the Mohawk and English languages.


In 1838, Johnson was hired by the Reverend Adam Elliot as an interpreter. In 1840, he became interpreter for the Anglican mission at the Reserve. He became influential in both the English and Mohawk communities.

Marriage and family

In 1853, Johnson married Emily Susanna Howells, a native of England whose family had immigrated to the United States in 1832. She was said to be a cousin of the...
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